WASHINGTON (Sept. 13, 2019) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, received a signed Chief of Engineers Report (Chief’s Report) for the proposed Jefferson County Ecosystem Restoration Project, Sept. 12, outlining the feasibility of providing shore protection and related improvements between Sabine Pass and the entrance to Galveston Bay, Texas, in the interest of protecting and restoring environmental resources on and behind the beach, to include the 77,000 acres of freshwater wetlands and the maritime resources of east Galveston Bay and Rollover Bay.
The report, signed by Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, USACE Commanding General and 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, recommends the plan to support efforts to improve, preserve and sustain ecological resources along the Texas coast.
“This is a major milestone for the proposed Jefferson County Ecosystem Restoration project,” said Col. Timothy Vail, USACE Galveston District commander. “A unique project which brings the best of all efforts together: the repurpose of selected dredge material to enhance local ecosystem restoration; consequently adding to the costal resiliency effort in Jefferson County.”
The Chief’s Report recommends over 6000 acres of marsh restoration in the proximity of Sabine Neches Waterway (SNWW) and Gulf Intercostal Waterway (GIWW) using selected O&M material from the frequently maintained SNWW; also includes a breakwater structure at the interface with GIWW.
Additional improvements include work on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service property, which depends entirely on the agency’s budget to implement; however, the majority of restoration in adjacent property will be by USACE.
“As always, the Galveston District will be ready to support our sister agency if need arises,” said Shakhar Misir, USACE Galveston project manager.
Other improvements include approximately 1 mile of rock breakwater to prevent barge / tug wake impact to the restored areas.
“The Chief’s Report will be submitted to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works for review,” said Misir. “Following review, it will then be submitted to Congress for authorization and funding. The Corps is encouraged by this signing and is also reminded that this is one step in a long process with an ultimate goal of project construction.”
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